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Jays lefties in a rut

Mike Rutsey, QMI Agency
The star of the Jays' pitching rotation, Ricky Romero, had his first poor outing of the spring against the triple-A Toledo Mud Hens. (REUTERS)

The star of the Jays' pitching rotation, Ricky Romero, had his first poor outing of the spring against the triple-A Toledo Mud Hens. (REUTERS)

DUNEDIN, Fla. - 

It was Ricky Romero’s turn to get tonged.

On Friday when facing the Tampa Bay Rays, Blue Jays left-hander Brett Cecil gave up four runs on four hits and walked five in a abbreviated 2 2/3 inning stint.

Aaron Laffey, a fellow lefty and longshot candidate to crack the rotation, came out against Boston on Sunday and was whacked around for nine hits and five runs over five innings.

Enter Romero, who Monday faced the mighty Toledo Mud Hens, the Tigers’ triple-A affiliate, at the Jays home park.

Romero was less than sharp as during his seven innings, the ‘ace’ of the staff was drilled for 13 hits and four runs.

Maybe it’s that time of training camp or something in the air, but it hasn’t been a crisp time for the Jays lefties of late.

It’s the first poor outing for Romero this spring and is of no account.

“I got my work in but obviously I gave up a lot of base hits,” Romero, the Jays’ opening day starter, said. “I had to work out of some jams and it could have been a lot worse (runs-wise). I made some pitches when I had to and also missed a lot of spots coming (inside to the hitters).

“But I need a little bit of this to work a little bit more on stuff and I was able to throw some good curveballs right at the end and work on that and throw some changeups. I was a little disappointed with the fastball control, but it will come.”

Romero said that at this juncture, with just over a week to go, he is not so much working on things.

“I think I’m more into game mode more than anything,” he said. “As far as working on stuff, we’ve had enough time to do that. I’ve got one more start before we head off to Cleveland (and the April 5 opener) and I’m happy that I got through seven innings.”

Romero added that he hasn’t been working on any one pitch more than another this spring.

“Control,” he said of what his main objective has been. “I’ve just been consistent with everything, with every single pitch. I know that I’m not going to have every single pitch but I’m such a perfectionist that I expect to have every pitch when I’m out there and when you don’t have your pitches like today, you go to other stuff and I was able to go to the changeup and go to the curve and I was able to pitch, not just go out there throwing.”


The balmy weather that the northwest enjoyed the past week appears to be over and seasonal weather has reappeared.

So, looking ahead to the Blue Jays season opener in Cleveland on April 5, with the following games on Easter weekend, April 7 and 8, the long-range weather forecast is not the best.

In fact, it’s typical for Cleveland in the first week of April.

According to the Weather Network, the opener could be in jeopardy as the forecast is for day-long rain with the temperature around 20 degrees. That could push the opener back a day to Good Friday. The forecast for Easter weekend is temperatures of 15-18 with the possibility of showers each of the days.

So, it’s best to pack an umbrella.